Director-General condemns attack on Capital Gazette publishing company that claimed five lives in Maryland, USA

29 June 2018

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has condemned the 28 June attack at the offices of the Capital Gazette, publisher of several local newspapers in Annapolis (Maryland), that claimed the lives of four journalists and one sales assistant and left several others injured.

 “I condemn the killing of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters,” declared the Director-General. “I trust the investigation into the motives behind this crime will help the authorities improve the safety of media workers.

 “I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims of the attack and wish a complete recovery to the injured. Freedom of the press needs to be defended everywhere and I salute the impressive commitment of the Capital Gazette to resume its work in keeping its readers informed so soon after sustaining such a terrible loss,” Ms Azoulay said.

 The man responsible for the shooting at the premises of the Capital Gazette, one of the oldest newspaper publishing companies in America, was arrested during the attack. The Capital Gazette, publisher of several small newspapers, announced its determination to resume publication immediately after the attack.

 UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity-building and a range of actions, notably the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

See also: UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 08 91